Mar 05, 2012

Nonprofits and Foundations Find New Efficiencies

Amid increased competition for fewer public and private resources, nonprofits and foundations are thinking creatively to find operational efficiencies for the future. These efforts range from shifting to cloud-based technology and standardizing online applications, to developing cost- and service-sharing models and engaging in cross-sector partnerships to streamline the process for government contracts.
Panelists shared these and other strategic choices they are making at a nonprofit executive roundtable hosted by Accenture and RCLA on February 15. Moderated by RCLA Executive Director Bethany Godsoe, the panel included: Mary Cadagin, Chief Information Officer at Open Society Foundations; Gordon Campbell, President and Chief Executive Officer at United Way New York City; Paul Schuchert, Chief Financial Officer at Seedco; and Walt Mores, Accenture Senior Executive and co-author of Building High Performance Government Through Lean Six Sigma: A Leader's Guide to Creating Speed, Agility and Efficiency.
Panelists highlighted the need to balance efficiency and inclusion, particularly in communities with limited technology. They also discussed the importance of empowering staff members in the process of shifting the practice and culture of organizations to become more efficient, as well as finding funding to invest in these types of organizational change in addition to program support. 
When asked what challenges concern them most for the future, panelists said they include technology security, particularly for organizations working on human rights issues; remaining focused and staying the course as an organization, despite numerous competing demands; and taking programs to scale.
The event was part of an ongoing partnership between Accenture and RCLA to develop public service leadership, and an Accenture white paper from the event is forthcoming.

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